Activating Burnaby Mountain
On Saturday, May 31, 2014, Ralph, VE7OM and Bill, VE7WNO left sunny south Surrey and traveled to Burnaby Mountain to activate that peak for a first time SOTA activation. The drive to the site, which is in an urban setting and the site of Simon Fraser University was uneventful, and was found without any problems or traffic diversions. Burnaby Mountain was picked as a SOTA site expressly for the less able members of our hobby who could park relatively close to an activation site and not have to hike or carry equipment far in order to experience the thrill of SOTA.
We had planned to activate right by the water tower, the summit of the mountain, but due to heavy construction at that site, we were forced to re-locate to a grassy area approx. 15m lower than the summit, but still in sight of the tower. We were able to park close to the area, which allowed easy access for our equipment etc.
We set up our two meter beam on a pole and tried a contact or two on that band. We were successful in activating a number of repeaters from there, but didn’t try any simplex operation until later in the day.
Ralph’s Buddipole™ mast was used to hang a dipole, similar to the setup he used when travelling last September in Cornwall, UK. The SWR was checked to be within limits, and the IC706 was taken out of the grab-n-go box which also served as an operating surface.
As the coaxial feedline from the antenna was a male BNC, and the connector on the back of the IC706 was a PL259, Ralph had to scratch his head as to whether he had brought the necessary coupling. Thankfully, he had, and soon had the radio on the air.
We had brought a large battery as a power source, so were able to have the HF radio operating at more than QRP levels which assisted our signal from that location. Almost as soon as we got things squared away, a quick ‘test’ call on CW brought VE7KBN, Ken, responding to our call from his location at Grande Prairie with a good signal. Shortly after that we had a pileup going for a short time on 20CW and formally activated the SOTA site, VE7/GV009.
It was a pleasant few hours where Bill had a good 20 meter SSB contact with New Mexico, and Ralph was able to work Iceland (TF) as a DX entity from the site.
Later in the day, we tried simplex on two meters, and had two contacts, one in South Surrey, and another in Sedro Wooly, WA.
Early afternoon brought an end to our activity, when we disconnected everything and packed it away, ready for the next time it would be used.
We recorded approx. 20 contacts on this activation.